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I frequently hear complaints from people on chess.com that there are no tournaments near them.
Is that true for you? Do you live in a place where there are no real opportunities for organized OTB chess? I'm particularly focusing on USCF rated tournaments for players of all ages. (i.e. There are some places where there are scholastic tournaments for school kids, but none that are available after graduation.)
I'll be going through USCF records trying to identify places where there are no nearby tournaments, but if I can identify those places without the effort of that search, that will make the task easier.
I suppose it also depends on what "nearby" means. At the moment, I don't have a precise definition. In most cases, I would think there ought to be at least some possibility to play OTB Chess within an hour's drive, but in some rural areas that isn't reasonable. I'm going to leave it a bit subjective. If distance is not a factor that keeps you from attending the tournament, then it's a nearby tournament.
Oh, and, sorry to our international companions. You are of course welcome to participate here, but my focus is on the tournament scene within the United States.
well a few years ago nearby ment some thing diff. now with gas prices nearby is walking distance..kidding i live in town of 900 65 miles west of chicago the nearest chess club is hour drive most tournamnets hour drive. now there are some in town about 30 min from me but they play a lot of faster time controls but i do go once a year for a game 60 a town 45 min south east of me has a nice quad game 70 i go every year.i added up what it would cost me to go to chess club every week, 1 hour away tournament plus the 2 others i listed with gas prices and entry fees its comes to around 750 dollors a year
There's OTB USCF games near me pretty much every day of the week. My club (a 20 minute drive, which some folks might not consider "near" but is within my tolerance limits) has rated games every day of the week but Tuesdays, and usually has tournaments on weekends. Plus other events happen around me with fair regularity.
I live about 20 minutes from a chess tournament that is held every month. Going to go this week.
I live in a small town in extreme east central Texas (near Toledo bend). The closest city of any size is an hour drive and they have put together a monthly small club tournaments (USCF membership required) but you end up playing the same few players over and over again, and because of conflicting work schedules I can never make their Wednesday night meetings. I tried to organize a chess club here locally, put out fliers, newspaper ads etc., but here if you don't hunt, fish, drive a pickup truck really fast you don't do anything at all. So the only response I got was from an older lady who came once, liked it, but said if she couldn't get anybody else to come with her she wouldn't come back. End of story.
Now the point of all this is to say that this site is the only outlet I have for the pursuit of my passion (i.e. making friends from different countries, playing in tournaments, and so on) I have always wanted to play in a large OTB tournament but can't possibly take tme off for 3-5 days spend nights in a motel, (without my wife who would let me go, but I would spend considerable effort paying her back if you know what I mean). So at this point I have let my USCF membership expire and just let this be my place. (This is not a pity story, believe me)
@mfw do you know where odessa is?
Detroit definitley most major tournaments here in michigan are in Lansing Grand Rapids or near Great lakes all in which that are atleast a hour away (literally) and other tournaments are held in Warren and Ann Arbor which are 30 mins away it can be so frustrating there are literally only 5 tournaments held in detroit every year overall and there all Scholistic which is fine for me but horrible for adult players and It wont be long befor e I graduate and can't play !! Hate to say it but theres alot of wasted talent in detroit and it will continue to be so for those who cant travel that far.
Detroit definitley most major tournaments here in michigan are in Lansing Grand Rapids or near Great lakes all in which that are atleast a hour away (literally) and other tournaments are held in Warren and Ann Arbor which are 30 mins away it can be so frustrating there are literally only 5 tournaments held in detroit every year overall and there all Scholistic which is fine for me but horrible for adult players and It wont be long befor e I graduate and can't play !! Hate to say it but theres alot of wasted talent in detroit
It seems there's a lot of wasted talent everywhere. There should be something that can be done to correct that situation. Maybe instead of you going to the tournament, the tournament could come to you!?
I'd be surprised.
Me and you both. Still.........just wondering.
I meant I'd be surprised if there were any USCF tournaments near me
The Florida Chess Association sponsers many major tournaments and many smaller ones every year down here. Most are in Orlando fla, but some are in places like cocoa beach where 40 bucks gets you a suite for the nite with a cat-walk to the beach ! I moved here a year ago they don't have many chess clubs but USCF OTB tournys are first rate and draws hundreds of Players !
@Christian Soldier: Do you know where Midland is?
Southern California is blessed with the San Diego Chess club - they actually have a building of their own, in a city park, and hold events every weekend. There's some chess going on in the Los Angeles area too but if you're more than an hour's drive it doesn't count, and in traffic - an hour might take you about 3 miles.
Most of California is devoid of OTB chess. And that's sad.
There are very few tournaments near me. Maybe one every few months
I live in a small town in extreme east central Texas (near Toledo bend). The closest city of any size is an hour drive and they have put together a monthly small club tournaments (USCF membership required) but you end up playing the same few players over and over again, and because of conflicting work schedules I can never make their Wednesday night meetings.
Thanks all,for the responses. Keep them coming. To amplify on what I'm doing here, it's my intention, working within USCF, to identify what parts of the country have no tournaments near them, and then try to fix that problem. There's almost no place in the country that I think shouldn't be able to support tournaments. I say "almost", because western North Dakota or eastern Montana could be rough. And of course most of Alaska is a special case. Other than that, we should be able to do it.
I can't promise anyone, anywhere, "major" tournaments. For those you need players, and large quantities of cash wouldn't hurt, either.
Part of this, as time goes on, will be to solve what I suspect is an even bigger problem. I suspect that there are a lot of people who think there are no tournaments near them, when in reality people just don't know about them.
And "near" is also problematic. I understand there is not much in the City of Detroit, but there is a lot, including a pretty wide variety,within an hour. (May I recommend Auburn Hills? Three times per year, Chess for Charity? I know the TD. Great guy.*) You won't get much better than several tournaments within an hour. Any closer than that, and they start cannibalizing each other's players. By the way, I have played, as an adult, in the Thinker's Challenge tournaments in Detroit. It's not USCF rated though.
I see that Rhode Island had 125 rated events last year. Not bad for such a small space.
So, most of the US is pretty well served, although I also suspect a little bit more variety could help most places. Like mfw noted, if it's always the same people, it's not as much fun as having variety.
*You probably guessed this, but I am the TD.
One of the best tournaments in MN is held this one:
It is held as part of a catfish fishing festival in a town in the middle of nowhere with a population of fewer than 500 people. Dozens of people come make the 2 hour drive out there from the Twin Cities area every year. The location isn't great. But the atmosphere is fantastic. The TD has a blast and truly appreciates the players he gets, and every year it just gets better.
That tournament is proof that just about anywhere can support a good tournament. You just have to find someone who loves chess and is willing to put in the leg work.
I'd probably have to drive about 5 hours to get to one. I'd only consider anything 1 hour or less near.
You shouldn't have to drive five hours, and most places should be within 1, or at most 2. Marquette, Traverse City, Lansing, Cadillac, and Grand Rapids all have had rated tournaments last year, and Southeast Michigan is chock full of them.
It really shows how much we have to work on making our tournaments easier to find.
Northern Michigan is indeed one of the sparser areas for Chess, but there are at least a few rated OTB tournaments in that region.
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